14-26 October 1996
The workshop hosted thirty-seven designers from fourteen countries who were divided into five teams to examine ways through which local designers and architects could add value to the Baltic wood industry for both domestic and international markets, with a focus on product designs that would represent Baltic culture and enhance community environments. The results of the groups’ work were documented and exhibited at the Ventspils City Museum of History and Art. The main organiser was the Latvian Designers’ Society. The Ventspils City Municipality and Latvijas Finieris, a plywood manufacturing company in Latvia, sponsored the event.
The Complex Situation of the Improvements of Venta Riverside
This group had three design tasks based around preservation and enhancement of the Venta embankment. They proposed a type of shelter to provide shelter in bad weather and to add aesthetic value to the embankment, an information system that informs citizens about the town’s culture/history and port activities, and street furniture that will provide possibilities for recreation and support the town’s corporate identity.
The Improvement Complex of Lielais Prospekts
The group proposed to create a conceptual identity for Lielais Prospekts (a transport and pedestrian highway in Ventspils) using lights, street furniture, and sculptural elements within an overall restructured urban plan. The plan discussed a park entrance, types of ‘decks’, wooden kinetic sculptures, a modular system of street furniture, signage system for Ventspils, public transport, and a means of providing tourist information.
Market in the Old Town; Transformable and Transportable Pavilions for the Fair
This group had a theoretical and practical task to address concerning Ventspils longstanding historical traditions and the city’s inhabitants. The group recommended a programmed and gradual revitalisation of the environment, including restoration of the market square’s historical boundaries, to provide for covered pavilions, and in essence, to either construct new configurations, or complete the ones that were left incomplete.
Ventspils Seaside (area includes sea, beach, and forest park)
This group came up with a summative question for themselves to address ‘How can we make this area [Ventspils seaside] more available for the citizens for Ventspils and future tourists?’, in keeping with their aim to prevent the area from being damaged. Recommendations included providing information indicating that the area exists, i.e. signage, garbage-collecting solutions to keep area litter free, and toilet systems, among others.
Innovative Uses of Baltic Birch wood; Products for Furniture and Interiors
The group’s task was to reveal the aesthetic properties of birch wood products through high quality of design and manufacture which will allow for promotion of Latvian birch wood as a modern ecological material for innovative wooden products.